With summer around the corner and now that COVID restrictions will hopefully continue to relax more and more in the UK, grandparents will surely be starting to think about all the wonderful things they can do with their grandkids, especially as it’s been so long since many have been able to be together. In this guide, we present a selection of fun summer activities that are perfect for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together. So, if you are looking forward to some quality time with the little ones but want a few ideas, read on.
When the sun is out and the temperature is friendly, not much can top a trip to the beach. The UK is blessed with so many amazing coastal locations that grandparents certainly have plenty of choices. A day or even just an afternoon at the seaside can be a real treat for all involved, with the kids loving the opportunity to build sandcastles, go rock pooling, have a splash in the sea, and enjoy an ice cream cone.
Grandparents can get as involved as they like, playing games with the kids, going for a dip themselves, or simply enjoy watching their bundles of joy have a great time from the comfort of a beach towel or deck chair. With a bit of sun cream and plenty of hydration, a seaside adventure should be on everyone’s list!
Sarah, a mum of three from the lifestyle blog SarahLou Writes, told us that her parents are looking forward to taking her kids away on a holiday and that heading to the beach is certainly part of the plan: “‘My mum has booked up a holiday in England during the summer, she’s so excited to spend some time with her grandchildren and away from the busy rush of life, Covid has made it so they’ve barely seen each other since before Christmas and all of them cannot wait to play on the sand and cuddle up together.”
For something a little different, Leslie and Kay of the grandparent blog Grandparents Link, have a wonderful suggestion for a trip to the beach, recommending a pirate treasure hunt: “Build or buy a box of some sort and fill it with goodies. Create a treasure map with dashes and a big red X. Make it look authentic by burning the edges. Go to your local beach or lake and bury your box of goodies. The kids can spend the day searching for the buried treasure.”
After all those months cooped up indoors and eating at home, going outdoors to enjoy a lovely lunch is a great way to spend time with grandkids this summer. Look ahead in the forecast, pick a day that looks a good bet weather-wise, and put together a delicious picnic basket. Pack sandwiches, cakes, fruit, a tasty drink or two, and a comfy blanket and head out to some peaceful outdoor space like a local park. After eating together, the kids can have fun playing outdoors or you can even go and walk your lunch off. Summer activities don’t always have to be epic adventures, something relaxing like this is a small but lovely way to spend time together.
When speaking to us about her advice, parent Emma, from the blog Lipgloss and Curves, suggests picnics as her number one tip for grandparents to enjoy with grandchildren this summer: “I'd suggest attending a picnic with grandparents allowing them to get out and about and see the sea or countryside. This can then be used to help children bond with the grandparents and maybe a fun game of eye spy, watching birds or finding butterflies will be fun.”
When you find a good zoo, it can be a brilliant time for people of all ages and grandkids will have a wonderful time looking at all the exotic animals, some of which they may have never seen in person before. If your grandchildren have always wanted to see an elephant, lion, or a family of monkeys, making plans for a day out at the zoo is a brilliant idea. They can learn about the environment, watch entertaining feeding sessions, and likely even find somewhere to play while grandma and grandpa put up their feet with a nice cup of tea. Additionally, many zoos these days are also very accessible for anyone with limited mobility, making it easier for all to enjoy what’s on offer.
Corinne, a new mum from the lifestyle blog Skinnecartree, told us that she is looking forward to her son visiting wildlife attractions with his grandparents soon: “My parents have only met my little boy a handful of times. He was born in November just as we were coming out of lockdown, then we went back into lockdown the next month! We are excited for my parents to take him to Yorkshire Wildlife Park this summer. It’s near where my parents live. It’s going to be so much fun for them to watch his little face as he sees his first giraffe, lion and bear after they have missed out on so much already!”
You don’t have to venture far at all to enjoy a wonderful summer activity with your grandchildren. If you have a garden at home, why not begin teaching them how to garden and grow themselves? You could create their very own section, letting them choose the flowers and plants from the garden centre, and let them enjoy the pride of seeing their own garden flourish. Or how about a vegetable garden? You can teach them about where food comes from and you might even get them to enjoy veggies more if they know that they planted and grew them themselves in the garden!
Rowena, a mum from the family blog My Balancing Act, shared with us that her parents love to spend time in the garden with her son: “As a full-time working mum, my parents look after my son at least one day a week during the summer holidays. They love having him and have lots of fun summer activities planned. As well as taking advantage of their National Trust membership so he can have a good run about in beautiful surroundings to burn off some energy, they have plenty to keep him busy in their garden.
“They are currently looking to add a slide to their raised patio so he can slide off the patio onto the lawn! They also do a lot of gardening together. My son is fascinated with growing plants from seeds and it's a really good way to teach him patience. They grow both flowers and vegetables and it's the only way we've managed to get him to eat tomatoes and salad, through homegrown produce he's helped to grow, care for and harvest.”
Enjoying nature with a countryside walk is a great option to consider this summer. You don’t have to worry about buying tickets to busy attractions and you can get the grandkids off the sofa. By picking a nice gentle route with lots of lovely scenery, you and the grandkids can enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside, stretch your legs, and even spot a wild creature or two! So, take some binoculars with you on your walk and play a game to see who can spot the most animals. From squirrels and deer to rabbits and a whole host of interesting birds, there’s a lot to look out for.
Playing games along the way is something that Vicki, from the education and parenting blog Blossom Education, told us that her kids like to do with their grandparents (when they are not playing board games that is):
“My daughters love to spend time with their grandparents. While they are happiest indoors playing board games, they also enjoy learning and that is all around us. My parents have found that a clipboard, pen or pencil and paper each can provide hours of fun. From going on a walk where they have to identify something beginning with each letter of the alphabet to a scavenger hunt, my daughters never complain when it's one of these time fillers. You can actually have hours of fun!"
Kaz, from the blog The 3am Diary, shared with us that she and her daughter Lily are also fans of scavenger hunts when spending time with the grandparents: “We love doing scavenger hunts with the grandparents. It is a lovely activity for all ages to do together. There are so many free ones online for each season that they're a great way to be outdoors together and explore nature without costing anything.”
If you don’t live near any country paths, why not consider a trip to one of the UK’s many amazing national parks? You will be guaranteed some epic scenery and perhaps something a little more exciting than your local trail.
Looking for something a little more high-octane to enjoy with the grandkids? If your little ones are a little older, heading to a theme park is a great idea, especially if you enjoy roller coasters and the like as well. The kids are guaranteed to have a great time trying out all the rides and there are bound to be some fun memories created. As long as you don’t mind a bit of queuing for the rides, grabbing some tickets is certainly something to consider. If you have limited mobility or use a stair lift at home, take a look at our guide to the accessibility of UK theme parks to help you decide which one to visit. We have collected all the necessary details on the UK’s major parks in one easy place.
If you want more attraction ideas for the summer months, take a look at this helpful guide which lists 100 UK attractions to visit that is sortable by your local area. Pretty handy if you need a few more ideas for when the grandchildren are staying over.
We hope the above suggestions have given you a few ideas. These are just some of the many wonderful things that grandparents and grandchildren can look forward to enjoying together. We hope the time you spend together will be as memorable as it deserves to be.
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